Sunday, February 16, 2014

STAGE BLOOD: Corpus Delicti Opening Soon

This is my 500th post on Pretty Sinister Books and it's not about a book. It's about Corpus Delicti, an original play receiving it's premiere by Madkap Productions here in Chicago. And why did I choose to tell you about this as my milestone 500th post?

Because I'm in the cast of five. Yes, that's me in the publicity photo.

Here's the blurb from the theater company's website:
Poetic justice is sometimes the most just.

Albert is an ex-con trying to rebuild his life. He lives a bitter and lonely existence brightened only by working alongside his perky teenage niece in Contrapasso's book restoration shop. When he finds out that his new boss is a murderer, he must find a way to prove it before going back to jail himself for the crime.

CORPUS DELICTI - a world premiere suspense thriller by David Alex
What appealed to me and the reason I auditioned for this play is because it is set in an antiquarian bookshop. I play the very disturbed owner of the shop who likes to supplement his income by restoring and selling valuable stolen books. When someone catches him at his larcenous hobby he strikes back violently.

The play has some interesting parallels with Dante's Inferno. All of the characters are named after characters in The Divine Comedy or the author himself. The play also includes some allusions to crime fiction as well. One of the books being restored during the course of the play is a copy of The Leavenworth Case by Anna Katharine Green. It's not so much of a whodunit as it is an inverted mystery. The audience watches the bad guy do all his nasty work and waits eagerly for villain's comeuppance.

I hope anyone who lives in Chicago or in the outlying suburbs will make a special effort to see this exciting new play. The rest of the cast, especially the young actress who plays Beatrice (seen above), are a remarkably talented group and the play has been directed to instill suspense. There are also some nice touches of comedy and poignancy amid all the skulduggery, cruelty and violence.

The play runs from February 27 through March 23 at the Greenhouse Theater Center on Lincoln Avenue just south of Belden in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago's northside. Tickets and all other info are available online at the MadKap Productions website.


  1. Wow, this is really exciting. Theatre is my other love besides books (it was actually my major.) I'm hoping to revive the company I produced/directed back in the '90s now that I'm working at home and have a more flexible schedule. Wish I could come to Chicago and see this. Break a leg!

  2. What fun! Many congratulatons, and I hope you have a wonderful time in the play. It sounds great. If only I lived in Chicago....

  3. John: Congratulations! You look suitably dangerous with that knife and rather ominous next to that innocent young woman. I look forward to hearing how the play is reviewed.

  4. More specifically congratulations on 500 posts. It takes a lot of thinking and writing to put up 500 posts. I look forward to reading the next 500.

  5. John, many congratulations on your play and your 500th post. I wish you every success.

  6. Wonderful. Wish I lived near enough to see it.

  7. John, I love that publicity photo, and the play sounds great. What fun! And congratulations on 500 posts.

  8. I hope it all goes well John - sounds great and if I could, I'd be there is a shot! Break a leg chum. AND love that publicity shot with alll the books and a dagger - what's not to love?

  9. Congratulations, and break a leg! As many have said above, I wish I was close enough to see it.